A local dentist is taking on a new title – hero – after helping a man trapped under his wheelchair in a canal make it to safety.
Bobby Treon, who owns Treon Dental at 2200 W. Bethany Home Road, was taking the trash out from his house on north Central Avenue between Northern and Glendale avenues, when he heard a man yelling for help in a nearby canal on a recent night.
“He said, ‘Help me, I’m down here,’” Treon said. “There he was. Water was flowing in the canal. His electric wheelchair had fallen on top of him and it was pinning him down in the canal.”
Treon yelled to police officers who were nearby and then jumped into the canal to pull the man, who had one leg missing from the middle of his thigh down, over to the bank. He said the man was grateful for the assistance.
“I know the police officers were there but I could tell that he was kind of struggling to keep his head up,” Treon said.
Another neighbor had called 9-1-1 when she saw the man trapped in the canal, prompting police officers to arrive at the site.
The man was lying on his stomach in the canal and police officers helped Treon carry him completely out of the canal. Treon said the man was upset that he did not have his wheelchair so he and firefighters, who had also arrived on the scene, brought the wheelchair over to the side of the canal.
An ambulance arrived and the man in the wheelchair was taken to a hospital. Treon said he is not sure how the man ended up in the canal but he heard authorities say the man’s blood sugar level was high, which could have caused confusion or other issues.
“My parents always raised me to help people when they need help,” Treon said. “He couldn’t help himself. Police and firefighters thanked me; they said that was really awesome that I didn’t hesitate and just jumped in the canal.”
He said police gave him and his 12-year-old son, Matthew, who witnessed his father rescuing the man, “deputy” sticker badges.
Bobby’s father, Dennis Treon said his son did not seek any recognition but he is pleased with his quick actions.
“We’re real proud of him,” Dennis Treon said. “He just did it automatically.”